Some ideas for a backyard water feature are a pool, a pond, a waterfall or a hot tub. Each of these ideas has a number of options for style, size, features and price.
As of 2015, a trend in American backyards is natural swimming pools. Rather than the rebar, concrete, filters and fiberglass of a conventional pool, a natural swimming pool features sloping sides to eliminate cave-ins, and an environmental filtration system uses aquatic plants to remove contaminants, bacteria and excess nutrients. Once dug, it is fairly low-maintenance. To dig the hole, use a ratio of a 1-foot vertical drop to every 3-feet of horizontal drop. Tom Zingaro, partner with Blue Lotus Designs, says the effect should be more like a soup bowl than a bathtub. When done, some finishing touches are gravel lining, natural rock edging, and cobble- or flagstone steps into the pool.
A few options for a pond are a clear, still, reflecting pond or one filled with aquatic plants and colorful koi fish.
Add a waterfall feature to a backyard relatively cheaply by using rocks gathered from the yard and utilizing a few handyman's tools. Buy a submersible pump, tubing and a rigid pond liner at any major hardware chain.